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Charitable effort creating warm feelings

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Conifer woman giving coats to those in need

By Deb Hurley Brobst

A bin filled with two dozen clothes hangers sat on a table outside the Conifer King Soopers on Sunday, a sign that Susannah’s Hope is making a difference.

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The empty hangers signified that two dozen coats had been given away to people who needed or wanted them.

Susannah’s Hope is the pet project of Mary Black that has turned into a ministry at Risen Lord Lutheran Church in Conifer. Black’s goal is simple: keep people warm.

Sunday’s 75-degree weather seemed incongruous with giving out warm coats, as shoppers dressed in shorts and T-shirts walked by. As Black called out, “Free coats. Help yourself to whatever you can use,” some smiled, others just kept walking, and still others commented that it was a great idea.

A few stopped and said they had coats they would donate to the cause. Black gave them business cards so they could drop off coats at the church.

Yet Black was happy that she had given away more than 20 coats and tons of hats that day.

“A mom with five little kids came by,” Black said, “and we were able to outfit them pretty well.”

Susannah’s Hope is named after Black’s mom, Susannah Campbell, who passed away in January 2015. Campbell hated being cold, and after she died, Black said she was compelled to do something related to keeping people warm.

“This time I listened to that voice in my head,” she said, “and I decided to do something simple. In honor of her, we started a coat ministry at Risen Lord specifically for people in the mountain community. In honor of my mom, we are collecting coats, hats, gloves, boots and blankets to give away to people who are cold.”

There are no restrictions on who can take the items, so recipients don’t have to be registered with the Mountain Resource Center or Evergreen Christian Outreach, for example. The clothing is simply for people who are cold, Black emphasized.

In addition, items available through Susannah’s Hope will never have price tags on them.

“These are to give away, not to buy,” Black said. “We are not going to resell these coats.”

In 15 months, the group has given away about 150 coats, and Black wants to give away lots more.

“I know there are people who are cold,” she said. “I see them in the store and the post office. The folks up here who need coats are hiding. It’s a slow process.”

Ten women at the church clean the coats and sew tags into them saying, “You are loved.”

Black has an entire closet full of coats waiting to be given to those who are cold.

She has been able to partner with other area churches and with the Seniors’ Resource Center to provide coats to those who need them.

“I just want to make sure there are opportunities for people to get coats,” Black said. Of the Sunday giveaway at King Soopers, she said: “My prayer is that we give away enough coats that I have to go back to church to get more.”

Coat giveaway
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5
Where: Risen Lord Lutheran Church, 25797 Conifer Road, across from the post office
More information: To get a coat or to donate, contact the church at 303-816-6864.

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041. Check www.CanyonCourier.com for updates.